“A crocus faces no judgement from the sun.
Nor does it fear harsh criticism as it sprouts from the ground.
but unaware of these things
it just blooms.
questions its beauty
or compares it to a tulip.
We are just happy it is here.”
– Caroline Clarke
It is Spring – the season of new beginnings. Did I mention I hate the idea of new beginnings? I cringe at the concept of “starting over” or “tomorrow is a new day”. I have always found New Year’s to be disappointing, and who really likes Mondays – really – yet we all plan to “start” our exercise programs after our sleepy, overindulgent Sundays. This season of Spring emphasizes “new” as a theme. Now this may sound cynical and just plain contrary but let me explain.
The truth is, I just can’t erase the past or ignore the future. My meditation book (yes I’m still working on it and I haven’t yet resorted to transcendental medication) teaches me to just focus on the ‘now’ – that the past and the future don’t exist or matter in the present. And, while I may agree in theory, I just can’t ignore all the other stuff in my head. I know I have to be at work in an hour – even though technically I’m not there yet. And all that I do and feel is largely guided by my experiences – or my past. So to further that thought – how can you possibly have a “new beginning”? You can’t really erase anything or not save for retirement.
I guess I’m at a stage in my life where I really don’t want to start over, and I realize that can’t really happen anyways. I’m okay with that. In the past I have always pushed towards tomorrow – looking forward to the new start, the new motivation all with some arbitrary significance – New Year, birthday, day of the week, or event. As if by some turn of the calendar or clock all unpleasantness would be erased and I would be a new person. I think we all do it to some degree – even to the point of trying to look younger as we could magically erase our time spent on this earth. It’s not true of course, I always knew that, but now I don’t need to be a new person. I just need to keep learning and growing.
Do I have regrets? Of course. Have I done/said things I wished I hadn’t? Oh yes, sure. Would I change things if I could? Now I’m not so sure. What would I have learned? Would I have been a better person? And better than what?
I now think of life more as just an extension of a thread that we knit and re-knit – sometimes the same shape over and over, sometimes a completely different one. Never finished, and just a continuum of a long history of human kind. Oh dear – those lofty thoughts – I should tread lightly here. Now I think this all ties into what they teach in meditation, but I’m still working on it.
Anyways, here is my self portrait – never done one before. I’m working on the carving now and am looking forward to printing.